The name Abaddon or Apollyon appears in Revelation 9:11: “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” In Hebrew, the name “Abaddon” means “place of destruction”; the Greek title “Apollyon” literally means “The Destroyer.”
In Revelation 8–9, John describes a period during the end times when angels sound seven trumpets. Each trumpet signals the coming of a new judgment on the people of earth. When the fifth angel blows his trumpet, the Abyss, a great smoking pit, will open, and a horde of demonic “locusts” will rise out of it (Revelation 9:1-3). These creatures will be given the power to torture any person who does not bear God’s seal (verse 4). The pain they inflict will be so intense that sufferers will wish to die (verse 6). Abaddon/Apollyon is the ruler of the Abyss and the king of these demonic locusts.
Abaddon/Apollyon is often used as another name for Satan. However, Scripture distinguishes the two. Satan later in Revelation, when he is imprisoned for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3). He is then released to wreak havoc on the earth (verses 1-8) and ultimately receives his final, eternal punishment (verse 10). Abaddon/Apollyon is one of Satan’s underlings, a destroying demon and one of the “rulers,” “authorities,” and “powers” mentioned in Ephesians 6:12. The Abaddon/Apollyon of Revelation is a real being who will one day inflict real pain on real people during God’s real judgment.